Story Time: The wise minister

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Illustration by Ahmed Amin
Illustration by Ahmed Amin

This story is from the time when the world was divided into different empires ruled by kings and queens. The royal families spent their life in leisure and comfort, and hardly had a care for the state issues. It was as if they had the right to rule in this way.

Like all other emperors, there lived a king in a huge castle which was surrounded by miles of green fields which bore trees of all kinds of fruits. The emperor lived in luxury, enjoyed food and ate lots of it. Due to his heavy food intake, his ministers observed the sudden bulging of his tummy but they dared not express their comments as the king was rude and cruel. Soon the king’s condition became worse and he fell seriously ill. Now he could not move or walk.

Everyone in the castle became confused and worried. The ministers and doctors lined up beside the king’s bed trying to figure out the cause of his problem. Even skilled doctors could not find a solution. But, amongst this group of desperate doctors, there was a minister who had miraculously found out what disease the king was suffering from. But he had decided not to tell anyone unless he found a cure for the disease, so he rushed off to his room to find a remedy.

Three days passed by and the survival of the king became a serious matter. Yet, the minister could not find a cure for the king’s ailment. The king was losing hope and was in despair, when suddenly an idea came into the minister’s mind. He remembered his professor teaching him something related to glucose. Three days earlier, he had worked out that the king had a high glucose level. Now he knew what the treatment would be.

But the problem was to make the king agree to take the treatment for his ailment. Although, everyone takes medicine to cure a disease, this treatment was a bit different. The treatment was to eat beans after some exercise.

Since the king only enjoyed eating rich food, the minister’s head was in danger of being chopped off if he so much as suggested that the king should eat some simple boiled beans to get better. Previously this had happened if someone suggested a simple meal for a member of the royal family.

Lost in his thoughts and seeing no hope for a way out of this dangerous situation, the minister sat quietly in his room feeling sad. He really wanted to save the king. Suddenly, another idea came in his mind. He decided to mix the beans with water just to make them look like a medicine.

He came rushing to the king’s room to please the king. He told the king about his ailment and that the cure was in the minster’s hand. He also told the king that he would have to keep moving himself for 10 minutes before he could take the medicine.

The minister’s plan worked and the king improved day by day by exercising for 10 minutes before having the beans and water. Finally, after six months, he was as good as he was before he became ill.

Now the king became curious as to what the medicine was that had cured him and made him feel better. One day he invited the minister and asked him to tell him about the ingredients of the liquid medicine. The minister replied, “If I had told you before, you would have killed me.”

At this strange response, the king became confused. The minister further elaborated that the medicine was just a handful of beans mixed in water. The king was very happy at his wisdom and rewarded him with many gifts.

Published in Dawn, Young World, December 14th, 2019